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London home where Diana Dors entertained A-list celebrities as well as the Kray twins goes on sale

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The London property where British actress Diana Dors lived during her professional heyday has hit the market for £4.5million.

Dubbed ‘England’s Marilyn Monroe’ thanks to her blonde bombshell image and Hollywood career, Diana scandalised 1950s Britain when tales of her sex parties and infidelity emerged.

She hosted notorious, alcohol and drug-fuelled get-togethers at her various properties – including one in Kent – for A-list celebrities – with the guest list thought to also include gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (who were believed to be old friends of Diana’s).

Her Chelsea double-fronted townhouse on Burnsall Street, located just off the King’s Road, was her home between 1953 and 1968 and offers an abundance of living space over basement, lower ground, ground and two upper levels. 

The London property (pictured) where British actress Diana Dors lived during her professional heyday has hit the market for £4.5million

The London property (pictured) where British actress Diana Dors lived during her professional heyday has hit the market for £4.5million

Dubbed 'England's Marilyn Monroe' thanks to her blonde bombshell image and Hollywood career, Diana (pictured) scandalised 1950s Britain when tales of her sex parties and infidelity emerged

Diana, pictured later in her career

Dubbed ‘England’s Marilyn Monroe’ thanks to her blonde bombshell image and Hollywood career, Diana (pictured) scandalised 1950s Britain when tales of her sex parties and infidelity emerged

She hosted notorious, alcohol and drug-fuelled get-togethers at her various properties - including one in Kent - for A-list celebrities - with the guest list thought to also include gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (who were believed to be old friends of Diana's). Pictured, the living room at her former home in London

She hosted notorious, alcohol and drug-fuelled get-togethers at her various properties – including one in Kent – for A-list celebrities – with the guest list thought to also include gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (who were believed to be old friends of Diana’s). Pictured, the living room at her former home in London

Her Chelsea double-fronted townhouse (pictured) on Burnsall Street, located just off the King's Road, was her home between 1953 and 1968 and offers an abundance of living space over basement, lower ground, ground and two upper levels

 Her Chelsea double-fronted townhouse (pictured) on Burnsall Street, located just off the King’s Road, was her home between 1953 and 1968 and offers an abundance of living space over basement, lower ground, ground and two upper levels

Providing 2,152 sq. ft of living space, the three storey, fully modernised Blue Plaque home of the British-Hollywood actress Diana provides two reception rooms and four spacious bedrooms, all offering access to en suites (pictured)

Providing 2,152 sq. ft of living space, the three storey, fully modernised Blue Plaque home of the British-Hollywood actress Diana provides two reception rooms and four spacious bedrooms, all offering access to en suites (pictured)

When living there, Diana (1931-1984) was famous for regularly holding racy parties at her Burnsall Street townhouse, with guests enjoying lavish champagne functions that lasted until dawn. 

Providing 2,152 sq. ft of living space, the three storey, fully modernised Blue Plaque home of the British-Hollywood actress Diana provides two reception rooms and four spacious bedrooms, all offering access to en suites, with the ground floor opening onto a patio garden.

The current owners converted the basement to provide an additional fourth bedroom with an en suite and transformed the Victorian property into a light-filled home with modern living spaces and a contemporary feel.

As part of the refurbishment, the ceiling heights were increased on the lower ground and basement floors and two glass floors were added, one in the patio garden and another directly below it on the lower ground floor, allowing light to cascade into the lower floors. 

The original staircase, which had sat awkwardly in the middle of the house, was also moved, creating open living spaces on all floors. 

The current owners converted the basement to provide an additional fourth bedroom (pictured) with an en suite and transformed the Victorian property into a light-filled home with modern living spaces and a contemporary feel

The current owners converted the basement to provide an additional fourth bedroom (pictured) with an en suite and transformed the Victorian property into a light-filled home with modern living spaces and a contemporary feel

As part of the refurbishment, the ceiling heights were increased on the lower ground (pictured) and basement floors in the property

As part of the refurbishment, the ceiling heights were increased on the lower ground (pictured) and basement floors in the property

THE BRITISH MARILYN MONROE: DIANA DORS AT A GLANCE 

Diana Dors was dubbed the UK's Marilyn Monroe

Diana Dors was dubbed the UK’s Marilyn Monroe

Born Diana Fluck in 1931, Dors grew up in Wiltshire and loved cinema from an early age, idolising Lana Turner and Veronica Lake.

She was offered a place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art aged 14 and became its youngest ever student after lying about her age.

After a string of modelling gigs and bit-part film roles, she began netting leading roles in 1949 and by 1951 had been established as a ‘sex symbol’ of the British industry.

She appeared primarily in British comedies until 1956 when she signed a three-film deal with RKO Pictures in Hollywood.

But after her then-husband Dennis Hamilton punched a photographer when the couple were pushed into a swimming pool at a Los Angeles party the press turned on her, and a subsequent divorce from Hamilton saw her contract terminated on a ‘morals clause’.

She returned to Britain and continued her career while enjoying high-profile relationships with stuntman Tommy Yeardye and comedian Richard Dawson.

After another attempt at breaking the US failed, she left Dawson and their sons Mark and Gary and returned to the UK, but her career became restricted to supporting roles, with most coming in the sex comedy boom of the 1970s.

Meanwhile she stayed in the headlines after hosting adult parties.

She married actor Alan Lake in 1968 and they remained together until her death from ovarian cancer in 1984 aged 52, having son Jason in 1969.

The modernised house now provides a large open-plan kitchen and reception room with a glass feature ceiling and guest cloakroom on the lower ground floor, as well as a ground floor double reception room which features a framed print from Dors’ iconic 1953 photoshoot at the house. 

The Victorian-era property was extensively renovated by its current owners who purchased the property in March 2018 in a bad state of repair and spent 18 months renovating it to provide a stylish London home. 

On February 11 2018, the Blue Plaque to Diana Dors was installed on the outside of the house, unveiled by her son Jason Dors-Lake.  

Percy Lendrum, Director of Dexters, said: ‘With its wonderful baby-blue facade and beautiful modern interiors, this elegant townhouse on Burnsall Street was the Chelsea home of British-Hollywood actress Diana Dors during the 1950s and 1960s. 

‘Famous for the fantastic celebrity parties held here over two decades, this Chelsea house has been enlarged and modernised and now offers a discerning buyer heritage, character and stylish interiors, a home that is really memorable and adorable, just like Diana Dors herself.’  

The original staircase, which had sat awkwardly in the middle of the house, was also moved, creating open living spaces on all floors (pictured)

The original staircase, which had sat awkwardly in the middle of the house, was also moved, creating open living spaces on all floors (pictured)

The Victorian-era property was extensively renovated by its current owners who purchased the property in March 2018 in a bad state of repair and spent 18 months renovating it to provide a stylish London home. Pictured, one of the four bedrooms available

The Victorian-era property was extensively renovated by its current owners who purchased the property in March 2018 in a bad state of repair and spent 18 months renovating it to provide a stylish London home. Pictured, one of the four bedrooms available  

Two glass floors were also added during the makeover, one in the patio garden (pictured) and another directly below it on the lower ground floor, allowing light to cascade into the lower floors

Two glass floors were also added during the makeover, one in the patio garden (pictured) and another directly below it on the lower ground floor, allowing light to cascade into the lower floors

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Could equity release be used to help more younger homebuyers?

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Younger first-time buyers could be given more financial help from the Bank of Grandma and Grandad, through the use of improved equity release products, a new report suggests.

The document written by Tom McPhail, of consultancy The Lang Cat, claimed that younger buyers are missing out because older members of their family are unable to satisfactorily tap into their property wealth.

Mr McPhail said: ‘Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations.

‘An equity release by grandparents of say £20,000 now, could be transformational for a 20 something struggling to raise a deposit and get on the housing ladder but would make only a very modest dent to the value of the grandparent’s house.’

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

The report acknowledged that equity release has endured a poor reputation in the past after customers suffered ‘severe’ financial knocks.

The sector has been criticised for encouraging people to take on debt, particularly later on in life.

There has also been other concerns about equity release, such as customers falling into negative equity where the value of a property is less than the loan taken out against it when house prices fall.

The report suggested that while the equity release sector has since begun to put ‘its house in order’, it is ‘still not perfect’ and some regulatory safeguards need to be strengthened.

It called for several issues to be looked at, including early redemption charges on equity release products.

It said that most providers apply a simple sliding scale of charges, for example 10 per cent in year on to 1 per cent in year 10.

However, it claimed that some providers apply an early redemption charge based on prevailing gilt rates at that time, putting customers at an ‘unfair disadvantage’.

This is because the fees are not transparent as there is no way a customer can know in advance whether they’d be liable for a charge and if so, how much. 

In the past, customers have also fallen foul of the small print on their equity release loans when it comes to early-redemption penalties – such as couples who must pay an exit fee unless both of them need to go into care.

The report also raised questions about interest rates on equity release products. It said providers should be consistent with their lending criteria and not move the goalposts after customers have taken out a loan, as this can make it harder for them to access a top-up loan in the future, potentially forcing them to remortgage. 

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

The report argued that equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder.

Mr McPhail added: ‘Raising a deposit has become an increasingly significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations.

‘Releasing some of the equity in a property allows older homeowners to choose when and how they share their wealth with the younger generation.

‘This more targeted approach gives them greater control to use their assets to the maximum benefit at the point of need.’

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report's author Tom McPhail

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report’s author Tom McPhail

Equity release: How it works and advice

To help readers considering equity release, This is Money has partnered with Age Partnership+, independent advisers who specialise in retirement mortgages and equity release. 

Age Partnership+ compares deals across the whole of the market and their advisers can help you work out whether equity release is right for you – or whether there are better options, such as downsizing. 

Age Partnership+ advisers can also see if those with existing equity release deals can save money by switching. 

You can compare equity release rates and work out how much you could potentially borrow with This is Money’s new calculator powered by broker Age Partnership+.* 

 * Partner link

Jonathan Harris, of mortgage broker Forensic Property Finance, said: ‘Equity release has historically been viewed as a ‘murky’, high-risk sector, fuelled by minimal regulation, poorly-qualified advisers, only a handful of lenders and extortionately high interest rates.

‘Fast forward to today and we see a dramatically transformed sector, benefiting from strict regulation, highly-qualified advisers, multiple lenders and access to very competitive interest rates. 

‘Not surprisingly, equity release is now a viable and growing market for older borrowers looking to utilise the gains seen on property prices to bolster lifestyles, as well as pass on wealth to children when they need it.

‘Those considering equity release should make sure they understand the implications and involve family in any decision-making. It is always important to seek advice from suitably-qualified advisers.’

It comes as a separate report by Legal & General suggested that one in every £90 spent by retired Britons is funded by equity release.

It said that equity release funded an estimated £3billion in retirement spending last year, although it didn’t mentioned the money going to younger generations towards buying a property.

Instead, the report’s survey of 2,000 homeowners found that those with equity release have most frequently used the product to finance home improvements, at 26 per cent.

It said equity release is also being used to support costs such as medical expenses at 17 per cent, maintaining living standards in retirement at 16 per cent, and paying off personal debt at 16 per cent, for example paying off interest-only mortgages. 

It suggested that equity release is likely to play an increasingly important role in financing care-related expenses, with 19 per cent of prospective homeowners citing it as a consideration.

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Allianz Real Estate buys prime office building in Rome (IT)

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Allianz Real Estate, advised by Dils, has acquired an office property in the centre of Rome. The transaction, worth circa €175m, is one of the most important to have been carried out on the real estate market in Rome in recent years.

 

The building, consisting of eleven storeys, comprising nine above-ground and two underground, has a gross lettable area of circa 22,000m² and has undergone a major refurbishment, offering the highest environmental sustainability and energy efficiency standards (LEED Gold Certification). The strategic location, between the CBD and Termini Station, is enjoying great success, especially among corporate occupiers. 

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NCC sells Valby office scheme (DK)

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NCC is selling Kontorværket 1 office project in Valby, Copenhagen to Industriens Pension. The building will become biotech company Genmab’s new headquarters and will meet high environmental standards for both the building and the area. The transaction will be conducted as a company divestment, based on an underlying property value of approximately €81.9m (SEK875m). Transfer of the project and payment of the purchase consideration is expected to result in a positive earnings effect in the NCC Property Development business area in the first quarter of 2023.

 

“We are now selling Kontorværket 1, the first phase of our development project in Valby in the central parts of Copenhagen. Here we have developed property with an optimal infrastructure and appealing architecture, and I am pleased that Industriens Pension is now taking over,” said Joachim Holmberg, Business Area Manager, NCC Property Development.

 

Kontorværket 1 encompasses 16,000m² of lettable area and also includes a basement featuring a parking garage next to the building, with space for 280 vehicles and facilities for parking bicycles.

 

“This is an attractive and future-proof office property, located in an area with very good infrastructure, a motorway, a nearby metro and S-train station. The 15-year lease with Genmab fits well with our strategy as a long-term owner, and we expect the property to contribute a stable return for our members for many years to come. We look forward to welcoming Genmab’s experts in biotechnology,” said Soren Tang Kristensen, Head of Real Estate Investments, Industriens Pension.

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